The entire world is facing an economic crisis, and in order to maintain the trust of investors and stakeholders, every company is relying on accounting firms. These firms now have the responsibility of not only providing financial information and reports but present them in a way that ensures clients of cost-effectiveness during a pandemic and are also backed by strong facts. But, the problem faced by firms in achieving the same is the work-from-home scenario that has hampered the traditional accounting processes.

Firms need to refine and redefine their strategies in order to ensure the smooth functioning of accounting processes, along with saving costs. With less workforce availability, taking technology support in the form of robotic process automation (RPA) is recommended. RPA software is one of the most in-demand software during the pandemic due to its exceptional ability to automate the processes using minimum or zero manual help, explains Gartner.

Top Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Benefits

RPA comes with multiple benefits for accounting firms, from tracking accounts receivable to ensuring local and federal COVID-19 compliance, timely payment, etc. Let us gain valuable insights into the same:

Cost Savings: Every accounting firm is facing revenue loss due to less availability of work and resources. This makes it imperative for firms to look for cost-effective ways while ensuring top work quality. With a small implementation of around 10 bots, firms can get their accounting tasks completed at less cost as compared to human salaries. Where humans are needed, they can focus on higher-value tasks and leave such monotonous tasks to automation.

Productivity: Since revenue loss is being witnessed by a majority of firms, it has led to unemployment amongst workers. Now, with less workforce, revenue, and resources, achieving productivity is tough but must. By incorporating the use of automation, employers can automate the possible parts of the daily activities of the workforce, achieving the same level of productivity, and leaving the remaining staff to focus on tasks that demand skills for human problem-solving.

Speed: This is what GPA is all about! As compared to humans, it can complete a task in a fraction of seconds. This type of speed is not at all possible when humans handle non-productive and repetitive accounting tasks.

Accuracy: It is not just the speed that comes with automation but accuracy too. RPA has the potential to provide 100% accuracy in accounting, which humans can never achieve since, on an average, they commit around 10-15% of accounting mistakes while handling repetitive tasks.

Remote Work Support: Since a vaccine for coronavirus is likely to take a long time, more and more firms are deciding to use the remote work platform. RPA can help such firms in expediting the setting up of processes, ensuring appropriate Wi-Fi home access, and registration for new home office equipment.

Business Continuity: With automation, fewer people will be working at the offices that will limit their exposure to COVID-19. For instance, different types of bots are being used by businesses to assess the present health of every employee against the COVID-19 risk. This type of RPA will help in the reopening of the businesses with low-risk employees for preventing widespread workplace infection.

In-Use RPA Applications during the Pandemic 

Accelerated Patient Enrollment: A lot of hospitals and testing centers are taking RPA support to accelerate the enrollment of patients that come for COVID-19 testing.

Using bots, testing centers quickly scan electronic medical records, add patients to the respective system, share related information with CDC, and report back to the patients.  This not only helps save approximately 8-9 minutes per single patient but also brings down the chances of errors of a manual data entry.

Rapid Hiring: Since a great demand is there for essential products, a lot of companies are falling short of the workforce due to lockdown to deliver products and services on time, especially in the hot spot areas.

RPA can help such companies speed up their hiring process by executing time-consuming tasks like evaluating employee eligibility, background checks, etc., and enable the staff of Human Resources to focus on different employee onboarding stages instead.

Unprecedented Product Demand Processing: A lot of companies have witnessed surplus and sudden demand for certain products like grocery, personal protective equipment, meal kits, etc. By using bots, these companies can process multiple orders in the minimal possible time, ensuring timely delivery and enhanced customer service.

Possible RPA Use-Cases during Pandemic

Insurance and Claim Processes: Similar to retail businesses, insurance businesses have witnessed a surplus demand for claims since COVID-19 has made things complicated for everyone on health terms. If insurers automate this process, it can lead to faster disbursement and enhanced customer service.

Financial Services and Loan Origination: A lot of nations have announced stimulus packages, and financial firms are overwhelmed with loan processing tasks and inquiries. Bots can be of great help here since they will not only expedite loan processing but also automate the handling of the inquiries.

Retail and Stock management

RPA helps retailers process bulk orders quickly but is also very useful when it comes to managing stock details through information from various sources. This will help in avoiding stock shortage and also keep track of goods that will help immensely during retail accounting later on.

HR and Request Processing

Similar to financial inquiries, the HR department is also facing a sudden increase in the number of inquiries concerning new work-from-home norms.  Bots can be used to reply to the frequently asked questions, streamlining the overall process eventually.

Still, having Speculations in Mind regarding RPA? Here are some Facts to Consider:

1) As per McKinsey Global Institute, 64% of data collection and 69% of data processing tasks are likely to become automated.

2) According to Forrester, its growth is predicted between $250 million (2016) to $2.9 billion (2021), with the automation industry valued at $1.7 billion in 2018.

3) The revenue of RPA software grew 63.1% in 2018 to $846 million, making automation one of the fastest-growing industries of the world, explains Gartner.

Conclusion

Accounting firms need to realize that they have to move ahead with time and give up on their manual processes and seek automation support, especially during crises like COVID-19. They need to understand that during a pandemic, RPA can not only help them ensure smooth business operations but save on costs as well, along with serving their clients in a timely and efficient manner.

However, if you don’t have the right skills, time, or workforce to use accounting software, you can seek support from a top outsourcing provider like Cogneesol. It has been providing the highest-quality, accurate, and cost-effective finance and accounting services since 2008. Contact now to start your free trial!

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